City updates policies to encourage food trucks and sidewalk activity

​Photo Credit Madi Krueger

The City of Bellingham announced today the recent approval of a new ordinance and guide for sidewalk-related commerce.  These changes create new opportunities for business activity within the public right-of-way, such as food truck operations and on-street vendors.  Both the ordinance and guide were made in response to community feedback expressing increased interest in food truck opportunities and are part of ongoing efforts to promote urban vitality and entrepreneurial activity within the city.

Food trucks were previously only permitted on private property within commercial districts and were prohibited from locating on-street unless associated with a specific permitted event. Under the new changes, food trucks may apply to vend in public parking spaces, provided they gather support from nearby businesses (including any existing eating establishments within 50 feet). This includes the ability to reserve an already-permitted space outside of City Hall.

“Creating smart, flexible permitting for food trucks will finally allow for the vibrant street vending scene we know people want to see Downtown," Mason Luvera, communications director for the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, said.  “We have amazing food trucks and vendors in Bellingham, and we receive constant requests to see more of them downtown. We're excited for that to happen."

Trucks may not infringe on the normal flow of traffic and the total amount of permits issued will not displace more than 10 parking stalls in any particular district. Regulations for sidewalk vending and parklets have also been simplified and streamlined under this same guide, allowing for more creative uses of underutilized parking spaces in the city.  These changes were introduced and approved in time for the upcoming event and summer travel season.

For more information or to apply, visit www.cob.org/services/business/Pages/food-trucks.aspx or contact the Permit Center at (360) 778-8300 or permits@cob.org.

Media Contacts

Darby Cowles, Senior Planner

Planning and Community Development Department

dkcowles@cob.org

(360) 778-8389